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County adjusts DPW, DPLU permit fees


Last updated 12/2/2006 at Noon

Two separate 5-0 votes November 15 by the San Diego County Board of Supervisors gave preliminary approval to increases in Department of Public Works and Department of Planning and Land Use permit fees for processing land development or structure improvement applications.

Since ordinance amendments are involved, the fee increases will require a second reading and adoption which is scheduled to take place December 6. The new fee structures are directed to go into effect on February 5, 2007.

The existing fees and deposits are monitored against costs to determine cost recovery levels, and changes in department costs indicated a need for increased fees to allow for full cost recovery. While the Building Industry Association, the Department of Planning and Land Use’s Industry Advisory Group, and the Department of Public Works’ Professional Societies Group indicated support for keeping the cost of the county services as low as possible, they understood the need to increase fees, deposits, and hourly charge rates to cover the actual cost of providing service.

When the county staff time required to complete a project is relatively static, a flat fee is charged. If the amount of hours required can vary significantly from project to project, a deposit is required at the start of processing based on an average number of hours and additional funds can be requested if the deposit is exhausted before work is completed (if deposit funds remain at the project’s conclusion the balance is refunded).

The adjustments add three new fees. The $99 permit fee for a temporary construction trailer is the same amount as for temporary construction power; the county had not previously had a fee for temporary trailers but charged such permit applications at the same rate as for temporary power since the two uses were similar. The expired plan check fee allows for a current $324 charge if a plan check review is near completion and no new changes to state or local codes have been made; currently applicants whose plan checks had not been completed must submit a new application and plans and pay new fees. The microfilming fee covers the cost of microfilming building plans and will initially be set at $7.33 per project, $2.00 per sheet of plans, and $0.40 for letter-sized documents.

Parcel map review fees increase from $1,405 to $1,460 while subdivision map review fees increase from $4,930 to $5,130 and site plan review application fees will be raised from $980 to $1,020. Major Use Permit application fees will increase from $1,765 to $1,835 while Minor Use Permit application fee costs will be raised from $1,155 to $1,205 and Administrative Permit applications will be increased from $710 to $740. Other fee increases also reflect increased hourly rates of planning, engineering, legal, administrative, and other staff.

A single-family dwelling or duplex will carry a plan review fee of $1,025 plus 19.4 cents per square foot and a permit fee of $1,128 plus 15.7 cents per square foot for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2006-07; that will be increased in FY 2007-08 to a plan review fee of $1,046 plus 19.8 cents per square foot and a permit fee of $1,129 plus 15.7 cents per square foot. Fees will also be increased for one-family and two-family tracts, guests houses and second dwelling units, cabanas or pool houses, barns or agricultural buildings, swimming pools or spas, major single-family dwelling remodels or additions, residential garages or storage buildings, and retaining walls other than county standards.


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